Trump's SCOTUS Front-Runner Amy Barrett Is In A ‘Cult’, Says Ex-Member
People of Praise, the group to which Judge Amy Coney Barrett belongs, is less a community than a “cult,” according to a former member of the group.
Barrett reportedly sits at the top of President Donald Trump’s shortlist to replace the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — an announcement the president said he is set to make on Saturday.
Former People of Praise member Coral Anika Theill told Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman that she experienced “abuse and torture” during her time in the group.
Theill says she was forced by her ex-husband to join the group and was a member from 1979 to 1984.
I was a member of the People of Praise — many call it a community, but I describe it as a cult — in Corvallis, Oregon. I experienced abuse and torture by my husband, Marty Warner, Independence, Oregon, and the cult leaders, as well as shunning, shaming and a smear campaign against me when I escaped and left. For safety, I legally changed my name, and I’ve lived under a state address protection program from my ex-husband for the past 20 years.
Theill said she “wasn’t allowed contraceptives and was supposed to have all the children God intended for me, no matter what my health was.” She ended up having eight children and three miscarriages, she said, “often when my health was failing.”
Theill said when she decided she wanted to leave, other members labeled her as mentally ill. With People of Praise, “the bottom line was cruelty,” she said.
And members are in spiritual bondage. Some are afraid to leave. I believe I was an example. Perpetrators will show people what happens to others when you say no. It’s very similar to domestic violence in how frightening of an experience it is to leave. And I was shunned in the community. And because the People of Praise community in Corvallis had a widespread respect within the community — many of their members are leaders in the local St. Mary’s Catholic Church — I was shunned even in stores. There was people who knew them. And so it was a very traumatic experience, yes.